NUTLEY, NJ - Hometown heroes, Nutley High School senior Michael DeHaas, junior Phil Amiths and head coach Judy McIntyre of the crew team received a proclamation from the Board of Commissioners Tuesday evening during the meeting.

On Wednesday, April 25 DeHaas and Amiths, along with Coach McIntyre, rescued a man who allegedly jumped into the Passaic River near the Newark-Harrison area.  According to the proclamation the two boys threw the victim a flotation device from their boat.

Present to congratulate the teenagers was Mayor Joseph P. Scarpelli, Commissioner Alphonse Petracco, Mauro G. Tucci and via phone Thomas J. Evans. The chambers were filled with fellow crew members, parents and friends to watch as DeHaas, Amiths and Coach McIntyre received the honor.

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“[DeHaas and Amiths] went above the call of duty,” said Mayor Scarpelli.  “You made yourselves proud, you made your families proud and you made Nutley proud,” he added.

U.S. Marines Sgt. Francesco Vargas and Sgt. Henrry Alicca Mejia greeted DeHaas, who will be joining boot camp in September. Vargas officially welcomed DeHaas to the Marines and asked him to stand in attention as he read him his acceptance letter. They also gave DeHaas a survival kit that he will need for his training.

Amiths plans to study in the field of physical therapy or nursing in college. He will be an aide at Prostaff in Nutley this summer.

Commissioner Petracco found out about their rescue from Belleville Councilman-At-Large Kevin Kennedy.  “The crew team went over and kept the guy afloat until the Harrison police arrived. It is a real heroic feat what you guys did. Truly what Nutley is all about, going above and beyond,” said Petracco.

“Nutley has a long history of service to others,” said Evans noting he also was a fellow crew team member. “I thank the actions that Judy ‘Mc’ taught, very representative of what this township is about. They risked their lives and went to save a stranger’s life. No words are strong enough for what you three did,” said Tucci.

Coach McIntyre spoke on behalf of the two teens. “Thank you so much. They saw someone in distress and they wanted to help him. They are not just good athletes but proper citizens,” she said.

Also on TAPinto Nutley:  Nutley Crew Members, Coach Rescue Man from Passaic River is an online newspaper serving the Township of Nutley. is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is the only locally owned news organization serving the community.

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